Conservatives in the House of Representatives, namely Congressman Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Congressman Henry Hyde (R-IL) and Congressman Tom DeLay(R-TX),have promised to block U.S. payment of $582 million in back dues to the United Nations unless the Bush Administration announces its support of legislation aimed at undermining the International Criminal Court (ICC). Last May, Delay introduced the so-called “American Service Members’ Protection Act” (ASPA)that would:
-prohibit the U.S. government, state and local governments, including courts, to assist, cooperate, support the ICC or respond to requests for cooperation from the ICC to help prosecute war criminals;
-severely restrict the transfer of information to the ICC to help prosecute war criminals;
-penalize any country that is a party to the ICC by providing no U.S. military assistance; and
-limit U.S. participation in peacekeeping missions or any military operation to maintain or restore international peace and security.
The establishment of the International Criminal Court would indicate large gains for women and girls in international law – for the first time ever in international law, crimes against women and genocidal tactics aimed at women and girls will be considered crimes against humanity. The Feminist Majority supports the establishment of the International Criminal Court for the protection of women’s human rights worldwide.
In addition, some members of the House of Representatives are pressuring the Bush Administration to support legislation that would condition the U.S. agreement with the U.N. to pay its back dues in three installments upon the U.S. reinstatement to the U.N. Human Rights Commission. To date, the United States owes approximately 64% of the total debt owed to the U.N.
TAKE ACTION! Urge the Bush Administration and Your Senator (s) and Representative (s) to support the International Criminal Court and Oppose ASPA.
Learn more about the advances of women’s human rights through the International Criminal Court at the Activists School on the International Criminal Court to be held in October 2001. The Activist School is designed to teach international human rights, and women’s rights activists key skills on how the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court can be used to bring to justice war criminals and those responsible for genocide and war crimes against women and girls.